Forest Hill Methodist Church

Forest Hill internalForest Hill external
Minister: Rev. Denise Yeadon
Church Address: Normanton Street, Forest Hill, LONDON, SE23 2DS
Telephone: 0208 291 6996
Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
            open 9.30am - 1.30pm Tuesday - Friday
Church Profile: 

Unlike many churches, Forest Hill Methodist Church is in a modern building on an otherwise residential street. One of the concerns when considering development of the site at Normanton Street was whether it would not be too out of the way. Thankfully that has proved not to be the case, and our membership now numbers 146. There is a tennis court/five-a-side football pitch to the left of the entrance gate, a few parking spaces and spacious gardens. Some of the stained glass windows remembering members who died in the 2nd World War were brought from the old church and installed in the new one, set with back lights, complimenting a very modern, attractive, stained glass window. We also brought along the old wooden cross even though we also have a shiny new one.

The original church in Forest Hill dates back to 1856. A “Central Methodist Church” was erected on the South Circular (A205) in 1913 and, after amalgamation with two other churches it became Forest Hill Methodist Church. In 1926, the Trustees, by means of gifts and loans from their own pockets, bought a piece of land to be used as a sports club in an effort to “hold young people”. It took 36 years to pay off the loans, and was a significant act of faith by all concerned. In the mid-1990s the sports club finally closed, so the church was left with a plot of land on Normanton Street that rapidly fell into disuse. At the same time the building on the South Circular found itself surrounded by light industries and in need of extensive modernisation. The decision was made to apply for permission to build a new church on the disused sports ground. After eight years of difficult negotiations with the local council, permission was obtained and part of the land was sold for public housing. 

In October 2003 planning permission was finally obtained, to a great deal of rejoicing. In 2007 we became owners of fairly large premises in the heart of a growing residential community. The premises were named “Forest Hill Methodist Church and Centre” in hope of numerous community activities to come. These hopes have been more than fulfilled. As well as the chapel which is the heart of the building, there are two large halls, smaller meeting rooms and an office that is open four days a week 09.30-1.30. These spaces enable us to host a wide variety of groups and activities throughout each week, both church and community based: Guiding groups, parent and toddler groups, choirs, training courses, dance groups, breakfast and after

School clubs, sports clubs, art exhibitions, storytelling workshops, Local Assembly consultation meetings etc., a branch of Narcotics Anonymous. These lets enable us to maintain the building. Children from the adjacent school, some with disabilities, use the tennis courts/football pitch as an extended play space. Other churches also use the building, and an occasional school assembly is conducted in the church. The building is fully accessible and comfortable for all ages of worshippers and other users, and there’s no doubt that members enjoy coming to church.

The congregation is very diverse, with people originating from all over the world, as evidenced by the collection of flags on display in the cloister area of the building. Like many other churches, a large portion of our congregation is elderly, and we are finding it quite challenging “holding” young people.  Fluctuations in Junior Church attendance are a concern, but we pray that a way will be found to keep the younger worshippers coming, for they are the future of the church.

Church Services:
Sunday    11am - Morning Service - Young People, Junior Church and Creche upstairs 
Wednesday 10am - 1pm Church open for quiet reflection
Forest Hill internal view
Weekly Programme:
Tuesday                      2-3.30pm             Tuesday Fellowship
    (term time  only)
  5-7pm Brownies and Rainbows
    (term time only)
  7-9pm   Guides
    (term time only)
Wednesday 10am-1pm Church open for quiet reflection and Minister in the office
Thursday 1.30-2.30pm Prayer  Group in the Church
    (2nd Thursday in the month)
  2.30-4pm Bible  Study
    (4th Thursday in the month)
Friday 7.30-9.30pm Rangers
    (term time only)

Forthcoming Events